The Dewdrop Range is one of the first areas to lose its snow and dry out in early spring. The flats alongside the road are quite open, but the land is flat and behind a ridge so that area collects the snowmelt and remains wet and muddy for a while. The south-facing hills overlooking Kamloops Lake, though, are open and tend to dry out earlier. One of our favorite hikes is the Frederick Hills loop, but on this late winter day we started at the same spot, but we went the other way, hiking part-way down the Frederick Road, then up onto the benchlands, looping back through the hills.
We spotted bare snags, some wind-sculpted trees on rocky snags, some bone litter, scats of coyote, bighorn sheep, and deer, the first emerging greenery, still tiny in cold soil, cacti, puffballs that poof with spores if stepped on, glaciated gravelly landforms, large erratics of volcanic rock, some white quartz, the puzzle bark of old ponderosas, quiet snake burrows, a spring in a gully, some colorful (purple) outcrops, alcoves and caves in the cliffs above, a frozen waterfall, and more.
Although tick season has started, the weather was cool and breezy so we didn’t encounter any this time.
From the top of the largest hill in the area we had broad views over Kamloops Lake to the south and of the Red Plateau Escarpment to the north. This is a rugged, open area that we will return to many times over the year and one of our prime destinations for the shoulder season.